Just weeks after being designated as the top executive at Court TV under it's new owner, network COO Art Bell is heading for the exit. Bell's resignation was an unexpected part of the shuffle following the takeover of the network by Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System.
Court TV had long been a partnership between Time Warner and Liberty Media, but ran as an standalone operation. When Time Warner bought Liberty out last May, it merged Court TV into Turner. That blew out executives and staffers in many departments, including affiliate sales, ad sale, public relations, finance, and human resources. CEO Henry Schleiff quit, taking an interim slot at Time Warner.
Bell accepted the job of COO, with his turf limited largely to programming and marketing. Apparently that wasn't enough.
"He takes with him our respect, thanks and best wishes," Turner Entertainment Group President, Mark Lazarus says in an email to employees. "Personally, I want to thank him for his professionalism in this transitional period."
Court TV General Manager Marc Juris and EVP of news Marlene Dann will continue in their respective roles but now report to Lazarus.